An English merchant as a slave in Muslim North Africa

[Allais, Denis Vairasse d' / Skinner, Thomas]. Geographisches Kleinod, aus zweyen sehr ungemeinen Edelgesteinen bestehend [...].

[Sultzbach], Abraham Lichtenthaler, 1689.

4to. (2), 362 pp. (but: 360 pp.; p. 176f. omitted); 100 pp. (complete). With engraved frontispiece (margins trimmed) and 16 engraved plates. Contemporary full vellum with ms. spine title. Leaves Bb2-4 and Cc1-2 supplied from another copy.


The first German edition of Vairasse's "Histoire des Sevarambes" ("History of the Sevarambians"), translated from the French 1677-79 edition. This is an account of an imaginary journey to Australia, a utopian history in the style of Thomas Moore. Presented in the manner of the then-current geographical and anthropological works, the book provides a direct criticism of revealed and imposed religions, in particular of 17th century Catholicism. Remarkably, this edition also includes the first German publication of Thomas Skinner's slavery narrative entitled "The adventures of an English merchant, taken prisoner by the Turks of Algiers, and carried into the inland countries of Africa" ("Die Selsamen Begebenheiten Herrn T. S. Eines Englischen Kauff-Herrens, Welcher von den Algierischen See-Räubern zum Sclaven gemacht, und in das inwendige Land von Africa geführet worden").

Lower margin of title torn with some loss, final two leaves torn and frayed without loss of text. Minor foxing to the plates; binding worn, edges somewhat defective. From the library of Swedish antiquarian bookdealer Björn Löwendahl (1941-2013).

VD 17, 39:131551R. Holzmann/Bohatta II, 12150.

Stock Code: BN#46092 Tags: , , ,